Richard Nelson Biography

Richard Nelson




Printmaker Richard Nelson was born in Wichita Falls, Kansas, in 1954. His formal education began at Rice University, Texas, where, while pursuing engineering, he began studying engraving under Swiss printmaker Dadi Wirz. Nelson then studied for a time at the experimental printmaking workshop Atelier 17 in Paris, France, with Stanley William Hayter before returning to the US and settling in New York. 

From 1977 to 1998, he "worked, taught, and cleaned up at [Master Printer Robert] Bob Blackburn's Printmaking workshop". In the early 1980s he returned to engineering as he continued to volunteer at the Blackburn Workshop. From "Although I tried to be a full-time artist once in Paris for a bit, I missed having hot showers and went back to engineering. I accepted my role as being able to support the [Robert Blackburn] Printmaking Workshop and various artist friends with part of my income from Bell Labs. I
 have no 'artist's statement' but rather a statement for those with jobs—'buy more art.'"

In addition to visual art and engineering, Nelson is also an accomplished musician who plays the harpsichord, guitar, and sitar. A collector of Abstract Expressionist works by relatively unknown artists of the 20th century, he is currently the director of the nonprofit Silver Bow Art, and in the process of presenting his collection to the public by opening a "mini museum" in Bozeman, Montana, where he lives with his family.

Richard Nelson has exhibited at the San Francisco Museum of Art; the Richmond Art Center, Richmond, CA; the Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, CA; and with the Kingsley Art Club and the San Francisco Art Association. An example of his work is included in the Robert Blackburn Printmaking Workshop page of the Library of Congress website.